Differential expression of ABC transporters (MDR1, MRP1, BCRP) in developing human embryos

J Mol Histol. 2011 Dec;42(6):567-74. doi: 10.1007/s10735-011-9363-1. Epub 2011 Oct 20.


Three ABC transporters (MDR1, MRP1, BCRP), belonging to the family of multidrug resistance (MDR) proteins, play a crucial role in the protection mechanisms during embryogenesis and mediate drug resistance in cancer cells. The distribution of these transporters in the series of human embryonal/fetal intestine, liver and kidneys of various stages of intrauterine development (IUD) by indirect two-step immunohistochemical method was investigated. The organ- and age-specific expression patterns of these transporters were depicted and compared with the expression in adult organs. The evaluation of intestine and liver samples demonstrate differences in expression pattern of ABC transporters during IUD. On the contrary, in kidneys the age-specific localization was not observed. However, the increasing positivity from the kidney surface towards deeper, more differentiated parts was found. Hopefully, our study may contribute to elucidation of the role of multidrug resistance (MDR) pathways during IUD in man.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B / biosynthesis*
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B / genetics
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B / metabolism
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / biosynthesis*
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Embryonic Development / physiology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Intestines / embryology
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Liver / embryology


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters